Nairobi, the Kenya Industrialisation Conference commenced today at the University of Nairobi, aligning with Africa Industrialisation Day. This inaugural event aims to revitalize Kenya’s manufacturing sector. According to the theme of the conference, ‘Accelerating African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation through Value Chain Integration for Shared Prosperity’, the focus is on fostering regional trade and industrial development.
According to Kenya News Agency, Kenya’s Investments, Trade, and Industry Cabinet Secretary, the event is crucial for positioning Kenya as a central manufacturing hub in Africa. Miano emphasized the need for a strong manufacturing culture in Kenya and across Africa, underpinned by effective systems. She advocated for an industrial approach that would enhance output, diversify production, and spur economic growth. Miano also underscored the importance of strategic value chain focus for better economic outcomes in Kenya and Africa.
Highlighting the African Union’s efforts, Miano referenced the 2007 AU Conference of Ministers, which led to the Action Plan for the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa, now part of the draft EAC Industrialization Policy and Strategy. She outlined four key areas for Kenya’s industrial growth: quality energy, advanced technologies, skilled labor, and financing. Miano stressed the necessity of collaboration between different government levels and sectors to achieve these objectives.
Miano assured attendees of her Ministry’s commitment to enhancing Kenya’s manufacturing environment through partnerships with the private sector and development partners. She pledged strategies to attract investments and adapt policies to the changing industrial landscape. The Cabinet Secretary also urged local manufacturers to embrace sustainable practices, including renewable energy use.
Juma Mukhwana, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Investments, Trade, and Industry, acknowledged the challenges African countries face in adding manufactured value to their GDPs. Despite the promise of industrialization, Mukhwana called for collective efforts to address these challenges.
Lynette Luvai, the Deputy Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to Kenya, pointed out the critical role of industrialization in economic growth, job creation, poverty reduction, and societal progress.